Critic Reviews

82

Metascore

Based on 37 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
91
Entertainment Weekly
In hovering, The Squid and the Whale becomes its own realistic display of family entropy, as cautionary as it is educational.
90
The Squid and the Whale is domestic tragedy recollected as comedy: a film whose catalog of deceits and embarrassments, and of love pratfalling over itself, makes it as (excruciatingly) painful as it is (exhilaratingly) funny.
90
The New York Times
Both sharply comical and piercingly sad. Mr. Baumbach surveys the members of the flawed, collapsing Berkman family with sympathy but without mercy, noting their individual and collective failures and imperfections with relentless precision.
88
New York Daily News
A great divorce movie. It's also one of the canniest comedies ever made about a certain kind of literary pretension.
88
New York Post
With its dry wit and all-star household, Baumbach's movie resembles Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tenenbaums" without the heavy whimsy.
80
Village Voice
Tender, cruel, and very funny, Baumbach's fourth feature turns family history into a sort of urban myth.
80
Film Threat
Baumbach crams an impressive amount of characterization and humor into 82 minutes.
80
The A.V. Club
It's an unflinchingly raw and honest look at a family splitting apart, and it seldom strikes an unconvincing or inauthentic note. Though it surveys rocky adolescent emotional terrain from the safe distance of adulthood, The Squid And The Whale still resonates with the sting of a fresh wound.
70
Variety
Pic makes up in strong performances and wry observation what it sometimes lacks in narrative drive. Result is a perceptive (and unexpectedly moving) portrait of lives in crisis.
50
The title refers to a diorama at New York City's American Museum of Natural History that depicts a whale and a giant squid locked in mortal combat.

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